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Tag: Cormac McCarthy (1-4 of 4)

On The Books: Jon Cryer's Memoir from 'Pretty in Pink' to 'Two and A Half Men'

Jon Cryer is writing a memoir, and I hope he makes it a diary from the perspective of Duckie. I would snap that book up. Sounds like Cryer has the right attitude about it though: “In these times of truly global crisis when fear is outracing hope, I think we can all be grateful that the guy who played Duckie in Pretty in Pink is writing a book. It’ll be filled with just what you’d expect from me; juicy tidbits on international monetary policy, catty comments regarding agriculture in Central Asia and of course, forbidden anecdotes about stamp collecting. And maybe I’ll talk about Charlie Sheen.”

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What books are worth rereading?

As the snow starts coming down and we begin nestling in with some of our favorite books next to a roaring fire fed by some of our not-so-favorite books, we must ask ourselves: Which ones are worth returning to?

I recently cracked open Wise Blood by Flannery O’Connor, which I loved the first go-round, and it was like putting on a pair of toasty, custom-fitted toe-socks. Still, I’m ambivalent. There’s something reassuring about the familiarity of a book you’ve already read, like a second date where you get to learn more about each other. On the other hand, there are so many books out there that I haven’t read once, entire oeuvres I haven’t yet cracked, that it seems like  a shame to squander precious holiday reading time on something I’ve already consumed. (Strangely enough, this feeling doesn’t extend to movies, as I’ve re-watched Jurassic Park approximately 1,587 times. This month.) And not all books are created equal. Some seem to lend themselves to multiple visits, whether it’s the addictive breeziness of Harry Potter or the pretzeled puzzles of Nabokov. Some don’t: As much as I loved Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, I don’t think I could deal with experiencing all that again.

A quick look online shows the rereading debate to be surprisingly heated, with some thinking that it’s a waste of the little leisure time we get in this nasty, brutish and short thing called life, and others of the mindset that you haven’t really read a book until you’ve read it more than once. What do you think? Are there books that you think hold up to a second glance? Are there any you are looking forward to reopening over the holidays?

Would you buy Charles Dickens' toothpick?

Modern celebrities are used to having every little item they touch turn to golden treasures in the eyes of their devotees: Robert Pattinson’s cherry ChapStick, a lock of Elvis’ raven tresses, Meatloaf’s girdle. But acclaimed literary figures have usually been excluded from such fetishistic fandom. At least, until now.

Earlier this month, Cormac McCarthy’s Lettera 32 Olivetti typewriter, on which the famed writer click-clacked his way through all of his novels, sold at auction to a rare book dealer for $254,500. Now comes word that an ivory toothpick used by Charles Dickens has been purchased for $9,150, almost doubling Bonhams auction house’s not-so-great expectations. The dental device comes with a letter from Dickens’ sister-in-law verifying its use by the classic author (The Toothpickwick Papers?), and the handle is engraved with his initials.

I must admit, I’m a little grossed out by this. And I fully appreciate why the auction winner might want to remain anonymous. I understand wanting to get close to a beloved litterateur, but spending thousands in the hope of capturing a little bit of Christmas goose that once occupied the space between his teeth seems a little, well, yuck. What’s next? Lord Byron’s bedpan? A moldy leftover Cuban sandwich from Ernest Hemingway? Proust’s Q-Tip?

What do you think? Are there any author-related items you’d pay top dollar to get your hands on? Or should we just stick to their books?

John Hillcoat, director of 'The Road,' on adapting the Pulitzer-winning novel

T.S. Eliot predicted that the world would end with a whimper rather than a bang, but this month it will have ended with both onscreen. Just weeks after the release of the destruct-o-thon 2012, John Hillcoat’s adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s grim and muted postapocalyptic novel The Road hits theaters Nov. 25. And where the former revels in the anonymity of pulverized cities and massive explosions, Hillcoat’s film faithfully relates the very personal tale of a father and son wandering the barren landscape of earth’s postscript. The book garnered nearly every accolade under the sun when it came out in 2006 and has topped a number of greatest books lists, including our own. Shelf Life spoke with the director about his experience adapting such formidable source material.

When I saw your first film, The Proposition, the first thing that came to my mind was that it was semi-apocalyptic. So you seemed like a good choice to adapt The Road.

Well, The Proposition was influenced by [McCarthy's] Blood Meridian, which is somewhat apocalyptic itself.

So I guess you were a big fan of Cormac McCarthy from the start.

Oh, yes. Definitely.

How did you get involved with The Road?

Well, it was because of that connection. I wanted to do a film in L.A. and I was talking about what authors I liked, and this was before No Country for Old Men, and I said that I loved McCarthy. So then I was very fortunate when I managed to get my hands on the manuscript of The Road before it was published. READ FULL STORY

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